In the final big event before the WTA Finals in Singapore, many of the top players in women’s tennis have gathered in Beijing for the 2015 China Open.
US Open champion Flavia Pennetta returned earlier today notching a win over Han Xinyu 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
Pennetta is the third set at the event, and with top seeds Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova losing, the Italian’s chances improved.
Halep retired today with a left ankle injury to Spanish qualifier Lara Arruabarrena down 5-4 in the first set.
“I have pain in my Achilles. It’s getting worse,” Halep said. “I thought that it was getting better and I could play, but no – I don’t want to force it. And it’s a tough injury because it’s always dangerous to continue with the tendon, so, I hope to just recover and be healthy again soon.
“I felt it a little bit in Guangzhou, a little bit in Wuhan, and here was the worst.”
The Romanian hopes to recover for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals.
“My first thought is to be healthy and of course every tournament is important, but the most important thing is to be okay, to feel no pain, and then I will see,” Halep, a finalist there last year, said.
“I hope I can play. It was my goal this year. I will see – I need treatment and a break, for sure.”
Pennetta got further help with countrywoman Sara Errani stunned 2014 finalist Petra Kvitova 7-5, 6-4.
“I had never beaten her, and she’s a really good player, so I’m happy I could finally win in a big tournament like this one,” Errani said. “It was just a few points that made the difference. I just tried to stay there every point and stay solid without too many mistakes – that’s my game, anyway.”
Kvitova, who has been dealing with mono, was not pleased with the result.
“Of course the loss is always disappointing. I really wanted to win and qualify for Singapore here. But I just wasn’t really able to,” Kvitova said. “It was the kind of game where I had to really be ready physically and mentally, and I just wasn’t today. I couldn’t really serve in the second set, either.
“I didn’t really help with anything, and she was going for her chances – it was just difficult.”
Caroline Wozniacki and former champion Agnieszka Radwanska were also first round winners. In a marquee second round matchup, Venus Williams will face Ana Ivanovic in a battle of former No. 1s.
The event featured 16 of the Top 20. Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams both withdrew and now with Halep and Kvitova out, No. 6 Pennetta is the highest ranked player left in the draw.
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